Yamaha Reface CS A Mini-Synth, Inspired By Classic 70’s Synths


2015 Summer NAMM Show: Yamaha today officially introduced its Reface line of mini keyboards, including the Yamaha Reface CS.

The Reface keyboard line was inspired by the form factor of the Yamaha CS-01, a mini synth that featured a built-in speaker. The new keyboards use a similar form factor, but have sound engines designed to recall four different Yamaha keyboard lines.

The Reface CS synth engine recalls Yamaha’s classic CS-series ‘Control Synthesizers’.


Key features of all the keyboards in the Reface line include:

  • built-in speakers
  • 37 keys with HQ-Mini action, derived from Yamaha’s flagship Motif XF
  • battery-powered portability
  • USB & MIDI connectivity
  • Yamaha Reface Capture – an iOS patch librarian app
  • SoundMondo – a web MIDI patch librarian and social patch sharing site

Yamaha Reface CS Features:

  • Synth engine inspired by classic CS-series Control Synthesizers, introduced in 1976 and played by Vangelis, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson among others.
  • 8-note polyphony,
  • reface CS offers five flexible oscillator modules to create a wide variety of complex sounds, from analog to digital.

Here’s a video overview of the Yamaha Reface CS, via sonicstate:

The Yamaha Reface CS is expected to ship in September 2015, with a street price around US $500. See the YamahaSynth site for more info.

72 thoughts on “Yamaha Reface CS A Mini-Synth, Inspired By Classic 70’s Synths

  1. There’s a ton of negative reception about these- oddly enough no one actually comments on the sound quality …It’s yamaha’s revisit of the cs-01 with AN1x architecture. Feel free to buy a 200lb CS-80 for 15,000$ then you won’t have to whine about the mini-keys.

    1. The sound is totally irrelevant to the ranters. It’s barely discussed. Just the form factor and how dorky it will make them seem to their peers.

      A tool is all about how cool it makes you look, not about what you can do with it.

      1. The fact is you can still get all the old fm keyboards for 400 dollars cheaper than this . As far as the CS reface , that’s just pointless at this point. With far far better virtual analogs (nord lead, blofeld) and similarly priced similarly featured actual analogs.

    2. +Astro spy EXACTLY !!!!!!! analogue purists are very annoying. You cant please them. If Yamaha were to faithfully recreate a CS80. They would then be complaining about the 4 thousand plus price tag and chronic back pain. Those mfs weighed a tonne.

      Yamaha have done a great job here FOR THE MONEY. The CS reface is actually closer to a CS01 MK2. And theyre amazing underrated synths. Only not only does the CS reface have fast snappy envelopes meaning analogue percussion is a yes. Its 8 note polyphonic meaning lush pads can be produced too.

      Its AWESOME to put it mildly. And as you said, if this had been released 33 years ago. Its would now be one of the MUST HAVE ICONIC analogues of that age. Its all nostalgia with these purists. They just cannot accept anything made after 1982 is any good.

      Let them live in their fantasy world. Me im too busy laying killer tracks with this SONIC DIAMOND!

  2. And to think, there was the possibility that Yamaha were acknowledging the influence and quality of their early analog CS synths, and might be reissuing a contemporary take on a CS15 or a CS 30. Imagine the reaction there would have been to that. This thing is an insult to that legacy and to us, their potential customers.

    1. If this exact reface came out in 1982, people would be rioting and looting music stores to get one. Effects? Polyphony? Small? Cheap? Holy smokes! You could MAKE AN ALBUM IN YOUR HOUSE.

      1. yeah they didnt have home computers, plugins, internet, free ios apps. it might have done ok….

        $500 is cheap? you must mean cheap construction

        1. The construction has been described as solid and nice.

          $499 is the magic price point for synths to be considered affordable by most people. And they will be on sale and couponed and bundled, with further savings. Those “open box” and “make an offer” specials that are nothing more than an advertising loophole.

          The Yamaha DX was sold for just under $2000 in 1983. In today’s money, that just under $5k. Sure, it had lots of keys. It was also noisy, and responsible for some of the worst music created by human beings.

          So $500 is cheap for the Reface. But the keys and case are nice.

          1. $500 is cheap if youve spent money on early tech over the years as I have its a pittance by comparison. It scares me when i add up the amount ive spent and have sitting idle in storage . As ive migrated to a computer and controllers for convenience.

      2. Yes its all about concentrating on the wrong things. Go back to 1982, Put this same sound and 8 NOTE POLY in a nice wooden casing with shiny knobs and the purists wouldnt be able to say enough nice things about it.

        And theyd be prepared to pay over a grand for one SECOND HAND. Thats how pathetic theyre. The bottom line is youre getting a great sound and 8 NOTE POLY. Thats a BARGAIN sub 300 quid. It really is…

    2. I was expecting/hoping for a contemporary to the mono CS synths from days past, and from the demos it sounds alright, and I guess that the price is about the same as the street price for microkorg XLs, but I wish you could change the filter types(so you could have a choice of a 12 dB/Oct filter like the CS synths from the 70’s!) and perhaps if you are branding something as CS and saying how it takes notes(I heard that CS stands for Control Synthesizer, so if it is just the knob per function aspect that they are going after than i think they should’ve branded it something else.) from the older synths make it more like them.

      1. Also, I am rather curious about this, and they haven’t mentioned(at least i couldn’t find anything about it) either way, but are these things plastic cased or is it metal?

      2. Anybody but old farts like me remember that the 1970s analog “CS” stood for “Combo Synthesizer”, not “Control Synthesizer”? The “Control Synthesizer” name wasn’t used until the digital CS1x (and the CS2x, CS6x, CS6R, and AN1x) starting in the mid 1990’s . “Control Synthesizer” then referred to Yamaha’s re-introduction of real-time controls (knobs!) on it’s then-new Advanced Wave Memory 2 and Virtual Analog Modeling digital synths after the backlash against their earlier (relatively) knobless DX and SY synths. The CS1x owner’s manual (all of pages 2 and 3) explains this in great length.

  3. it’s not even a model of or a tribute to any cs synth (many of which were great, with strange innovative features). just a small, generic, va.

    1. It might not be a mini-CS80, but it’s attractive for a little mini VA.

      There’s really something to be said for 1:1 control. As streamlined as it is, I think that it competes with stuff like the JD-XI, MiniNova, and the MicroKorg XL. While those synths can do so much more, you’re deep in screen menus and editors. And there’s always a new model to outshine yours.

      Patch storage is so commonplace that the lack of it feels novel. It forces you to sculpt and interact like on an old analog, instead of flipping through digital presets for a few taps on middle C and getting bored, with knob positions that don’t reflect the patch.

      These are limited and maybe too cute for some – but they feel less like technology and more like instruments.

      1. not going to lie, the lack of presets is what sold me actually. im going to do some more digging around to see what the looper is all about, but im pretty much al in on this one.

        1. Lack of patch storage renders this synth next to useless in many performance situations.
          Kind of kills the point of it being so portable, no?

          Bang for buck, this might be one of the worst value VA’s going in terms of features and flexibility of the synth engine. This, coupled with the ridiculously OTT hype campaign, sadly results in the impression that lack of patch storage is just corner cutting.

          1. There’s a free Yamaha app for patch storage – you can capture and zap back a preset to any of the reface series.

            I think the feature/price ratio is a little off, which is why I will seek out a sale. But I still like these things.

  4. Yamaha if you are reading this all I can say is what a shame! Why would you waste your effort on this? Speakers built in? Minikeys? Why bother? I certainly wont even consider buying this toy.

  5. Good to see a knob per function VA, however there is a serious lack of interesting functions as far as I can see. It looks paraphonic too, though I could be wrong. Also, a VA should not require an app or DAW to recall patches, not at this price anyway.
    Surely most folk would opt for a microkorg or mininova over this?

  6. Built in speakers… can it do auto accompaniment? Does it have brass sounds? I love the classic analog looks and the fact that it includes speakers makes it unbeatable. It’s nice to see yamaha are in touch with their customer’s retro desires…. Korg could learn a lesson here.

  7. I think the purpose of this series is actually making music on the go, as the “now” in music is portability and connectivity, and they sure meet these points.

    In my opinion those negative comments of nerds looking for the “going back to the roots” are actually pointless, all of the synth industry is going back and the last NAMM and MUSIKMESSE has been all about re-issues..
    Yamaha is in fact looking forward to the future and to offer some easy and on the go solution for creatives..

    I totally agree that they lack of a lot of essentials, but I think it wasn’t planned since the beginning. this is just an easy way of be creative in a quick way and without a PC. You can then go back to the studio and re-play your ideas with your fancy nuclear machines.

    Despite all, they seems to sound pretty good after all.

    1. Yeah they do sound good, they look good, but the price point… Four different products… It just doesn’t make sense…

  8. Sadly, this sounds closer to the CS1X than any of Yamaha’s proper synths..
    I think the osc section is poorly designed, instead of independent control of the oscillators we get a vague ‘texture’ control which seemingly just controls the second oscillator’s tuning..
    One LFO destination, bloody hell the CS-5 had more in ’78..
    Filter sounds poo in the video and the thing has a horribly weedy sound overall.
    Which brings us to the effects, which in themselves sounded pretty good (nice round drive),
    but they surely have been viewed as a way to make up for the lack of synthesis options by Yamaha.
    And lastly, a pitch bend stick.. in 2015? Don’t you understand us at all anymore Yamaha?

    Literally, the only thing this plastic pile of junk has in common with the CS series of synths is the inability to save patches, which is beyond a joke! “Yes, let’s not put any memory in there to save money and then we can hype it as being like really expensive old skool analog”

    PS: You can always tell when Nick’s not feeling it, and that demo guy was way overdoing the old “If you don’t stop me I’ll keep going all night..” bullcrap!

  9. Hey guys , i think yamaha did pretty wrong here … ok Reface Cs sounds goods ,have the faders to play and tweaking on the go , looks cool but….
    After korg did the reborn of Ms-20 , making a legendary synth affordable to any Home producer , everyone is waiting for kind of the same… When yamaha are teasing remake a classic synth , producers go ” A real sound of Cs-50 or Cs80 in my home uuuuuuuuu or maybe a new kind of Dx ” , and everybody waiting this not only because korg did , but Novation , Roland …., and yamaha remake a king of polyphonic analog (When you say Yamaha Cs everyone thinks in the Cs 80 ) with virtual analog ? Virtual Analog hardware was killed by synths plugins like Massive or sylenth1, Nexus , Sunrizer, Hive or you can buy now Hardware virtual analog synths like Acess virus 1 or Roland Jp8080 in used marked for 500$ …
    I am not saying Reface Cs is bad , but the markenting of home producer did a “Big Boom ” after the Edm Scene in USA on 2011 , and now Producers wanna buy hardware which have sounds they really cant make on Plugins …
    Hey Yamaha how about call you best enginners to make A Cs 100 ? with digital and analog oscilators and filters ? making close soundsto the legend and new features of modern digital synths ? the glamour of old with new face … and input a good price like 1000$ / 1500$ ?
    How about make a new Dx ? a hardware with features better than Fm8 from NI….
    And most of synth lovers dream about have a Cs-80 ( Even this site is the cover picture…) why not try to make one Cs-80 mini ? or a more affordable ….
    Ok guys this is my view …

  10. One of the chat mods during the live stream event referred to the people who were making negative comments about the price as “wingnuts”. Great move Yamaha. Insult a bunch of potential buyers. i really wanted to like these things. If there is some over powering sound/ build quality to justify the price, they did a poor job explaining it. The early adopters of these things will be mad as hell when Yamaha inevitably drops the price to something more resasonable. That doesn’t mean that I’m a wingnut either. Just being realistic.

    To justify a $500 keyboard in the name of mobile music making defies logic as well. There is nothing these things can do that you can’t do with a laptop and much more affordable controller keyboard.

    One comment at the live event was very true. i they had put all 4 engines in a 61 key, full sized key, synth it would have been fab. They could have priced it the same as a King Korg and sold tons. Or they might have done 4 models like this with 49 note, full sized keys at the same price point.

    Showing studio pros playing those tiny instruments and cooing over the sound is a false impression. No pro players will gig with these little things. I can see them being fun toys for Yamaha endorsers though.

    I really think Yamaha is very wide of the mark on this one.

    1. $500 used to buy you almost nothing except for total junk or the lower end used gear that wasn’t fashionable anymore, like Poly-800s, alpha junos, DXs, etc,

      Now for less than $500 you can get things like the JD-Xi, Bass Station II, MS-20 Mini, MiniNova, System 1, volcas, the TT-303, etc. It’s a fabulous time for musicians on tight budgets.

      These feel a little overpriced – was expecting a hundred less – but they’ll be on sale soon, and used for even cheaper. They give you really nice sound in a cute and playable package with lots of real-time control.

  11. I like how the people in the teaser clip released weeks ago were paid to act like these things reminded them of Yamaha’s synths of ole.

    What a letdown.

  12. You know it’s bad when almost every VA from ten years ago have more features.

    Yamaha has released a product inferior to the used Nord, Access, Roland, Waldorf, Korg, etc. VAs from 1996 onwards. WTF?

    I was hoping for at the very least a new AN1x. Sturdy, full size keys, robust synth engine, effects, modern DSP, etc… Even a small but quirky analog would have made me buy it.

    Better yet, Yamaha could have gone retro in a different way… The RM1x, SU series, RS series… give me a sampling groovebox or something. ANYTHING but this blatant fail at cashing in on “mini synths”.

  13. It does sound a little CS, but it just doesn’t have that clarity and range of a CS, a bit insulting. I love the CS-50, yet horrid in weight and design, but it is the ring mod and bending into those clear high notes that make it a treat, and sliding that into levels of aftertouch – it gets crazy. But this new thing falls apart then doing that, I’d find it too annoying.

    Would have been nice to do a complete replica of a CS sound and layout, which is far from perfect but I find that is the point, the craziness and the limitation of that – if they could have done a VA CS 50 at $300 and worked towards a $700 pocket CS 80 – with a focus on clarity.

    I can’t see why I would buy this, if I was after something like this I’d go System 1m, or then go microbrute – both far better. Roland should do a black-ops CS plugout for the System 1.

  14. No patch storage.
    No pitch wheel.
    No mod wheel.
    MIDI “through an adapter”.
    Limited synthesis.
    500 bucks.

    I can’t think of a single synthesizer right now that’s a worse value.

  15. Could be useful as a high-quality, second keyboard to rack over the primary. It is also an interesting choice to pair with an iPad, since all those controls are also transmitted via MIDI (and you can use it to manage patches). I also think built-in speakers are in the plus category.

    However, at that price, it should allow you to assign a separate envelope & LFO to AMP, CUTOFF, PITCH, TEXTURE, MOD with separate +/- depths. Even with the same LFO/ENV controls (using the null-point type thing).

    I get why they made them this way. The masses have shown a special fondness for familiarity, simplicity, and portability.

    The demo was not very helpful for me. I kept wanting the cutoff and resonance to be lowered. That guy has way different ears than I do.

  16. $500 for a Kinder surprise?!

    These things should come free, when you buy happymeal for your kids.

    I liked Yamaha more, when it did nothing!

  17. number of presets….=…. 1 ?

    for a digital synth with mini keys for $500 in 2015?

    best of luck with this one Yamaha.

  18. You know it’s a sad state of affairs when Yamaha’s own AN2015 iOS synth app can run circles around this thing… And it’s FREE.

  19. Copy and Paste Generic Response for Angry Commenters on Every Gear Article:

    “This gear should do way more than it does and cost less. A thing from 10 years ago was better! In fact, you can buy 2 ten-year-old things for this price! WTF? This thing is going to flop. The reason I care so much is because I don’t even care about this company or its products.”

      1. Yes, but if something is not for you, why comment?

        I tried and abandoned eurorack. Wasn’t for me. But I don’t comment on every eurorack post with something like “$200 bucks? For one oscillator? You could buy 4 copies of The V-Station plugin for that!”

        People are piling on. It’s mob outrage and ego strutting. If minikeys are a dealbreaker and a toy to you, then the headline and picture are pretty much where a reasonable person would hop off the bus. No need to stay on the bus and yell about price points, LFOs, and how much better your old gear is.

        1. buy all 4 and stop defending it then. if you like it, sweet. pissed people tend to be more vocal then the appeased. and as far as “if this came out in the 80’s” comment, think about that comment…

        2. Well said, Astro-spy. I agree that people are over reacting. The problem may lie with Yamaha’s teaser campaign. A striptease is effective if there’s something worth seeing behind the fan dance. Unfortunately, it appears Yamaha oversold their product and their Wizard of Oz reveal has clearly left many sadly disappointed and prepared to judge the product harshly.

          1. Exactly. The marketing campaign alluded to something that rivaled or equaled the best instruments Yamaha has made in the past. Many people, including myself, were expecting something that lived up to the hype. Shame on us for hoping Yamaha would make flagship synths I guess?

            The marketing was targeted at synth and keyboard professionals and hopefuls. The professionals I know (at the studio I work in for a living) all gave it a big thumbs down. The SonicState guys were pretty critical of it too. Same with most of the Blogs I’ve browsed when this thing was announced.

            IMHO, This thing will most likely be purchased by bedroom producers, those with low budgets who aren’t informed, and bands that want a synth but aren’t actually synth players. I don’t know ANY studio or gigging musicians that would buy this over the hundreds of (more reasonable, powerful, playable, affordable) products out there.

            Yamaha pulled a Roland. I’m all for positivity, but it’s helpful for Yamaha and synth noobs to get feedback from guys who own and use MANY synths (like most of the long-time guys at Synthtopia.).

  20. I find the CS to be the least appealing of these 4. The piano, organ, and DX are all tempting me. This one is a harder sell.

    1. agreed. i was most excited about the CS, knowing it would cost more for poly, but it would be analog. i almost never thought it wouldnt. mono, maybe, but analog. turns out its limited poly, not analog at all, and still costs more than mono analogs.
      my korgms2000 just got dusted off… and thats ~15 years old.

  21. I could forgive many of the shortcomings of this “CS” synth, but I cannot forgive the lackluster sound. Not inspiring at all. Not inspiring as I would expect a CS to be.

  22. So Yamaha, you want $500 of my hard earned money to buy a keyboard that I can dick around with at a coffee shop? Come the fuck on.

  23. I’d say this could be as much fun (FOR ME) as my MS20 mini for about the same cost

    OK Yamaha, now combine all 4 of these things in to a single case with a proper key bed minus the speakers.

  24. One major issue here… The OP1. You want FM / etc all in a mobile package which seems to be the upsell. It’s been done with VA already and they chucked in a sequencer. Want to add a little spice chuck in your own samples. Also for a mobile package it’s very well made ( metal ) and has built in batteries. 90% of people the midi will be over usb .. so that’s a moot point on a comeback “but..” Oh and you can use it in a daw as a plugin too.

    Sorry but they seem to be aiming these at a tonne of incorrectly chosen markets and hyped the living daylights out of them before a mis-timed leak right at the final hour. The price doesn’t bother me so much, more the snake oil “vintage” “mobile” and “re-creation” buzzwords. It’s like sitting in a meeting at work with a new start marketing intern.

  25. I think I’ll voluntarily eat my earlier skeptical words. Each of these instruments SOUNDS GOOD. Not “good for their price point,” just plain good. They do their stated jobs at a higher level than I had expected. If Nick says the case and keybed are surprisingly solid for the form, add a gold star. I’m long since spoiled by bigger, better synths, but these are quite close to the old dream of a portable keyboard that can compete with a guitar around a campfire. If the keys were half-again that size (I need just a little more slinging room) and there was a reasonable patch bank, I’d be a lot more interested, because the sound quality is creditable. The only flaws, IMO, are simply that they’re not potent enough for prime time as stand-alones and don’t necessarily outperform more specific controller keyboards in handiness. The line seems a bit cockeyed, but for portability or a decent-module-with-courtesy-keys thing, its not a FAIL at all.

    1. Fungo, I don’t think anyone has ever, in the history of the world, sat by the light of a campfire on the shore of a dark lake and thought: “You know what would go great with my Martin Backpacker? Maybe some DX bass or CS feedback. Either or both would be lovely.”

      1. >>>> Fungo, I don’t think anyone has ever, in the history of the world, sat by the light of a campfire on the shore of a dark lake and thought: “You know what would go great with my Martin Backpacker? Maybe some DX bass or CS feedback. Either or both would be lovely.”

        Heh, funny and true enough, except I once played a Melodica through a Boss delay and a Pignose amp, batteries all around. The sound proper maybe needed a little of the hair shaved off the funk, but it was still fun. A guy on tablas and a girl on acoustic guitar made our little trio jam pretty good. A full sine wave patch (for example) makes a great partner with a guitar, so the CS and DX would have some merit there. I agree that when the price drops another notch, they’ll pop up a little more than we might think. It just depends on how creative people can get with them.

  26. Everything else is good.. except the price. What’s the motivation to choose this over all the other choices we have in it’s price range?

  27. Actually sounds better and seems a great deal more flexible than my cs01, which is analogue but very limited but still cost me 300 dollars a year ago, the cs01 has mini keys ( not as good as these) in fact the only thing missing is the breath controller which would have been nice or some type of cv control to really give me the cs feel I will be buying one of these latter on hopefully on eBay for slightly cheaper,love the look and love the nod to cs01, which despite mini keys, ugly grey is just great fun, looking forward to this.

  28. Maybe these are a little overpriced…..for what they are. The market will decide!

    Everyone has something to whinge about so here’s mine…….I hate the way people aren’t putting midi ports on keyboards anymore. The amount of times I’ve gone to plug something in to a module only to realise there’s no midi. Frustration!

  29. Yamaha deserve the harsh criticism they have been getting. The video teasers were mentioning the CS80 and how great the keyboard feel was on these new Reface units. Well, what they have delivered falls short – far below what they were hinting at and comes pretty close to blatant lying. A modern reworking of the CS15, CS30 or CS50 would have been amazing, likewise even a full size VA CS80 with decent control parameters but nope – what we get are these substandard offerings – I mean organ and piano on mini-keys – is it April 1st or something? Someone at Yamaha is on some special kind of crack. I personally have absolutely no interest in mini-key keyboards and for anyone saying I can hook these up to a full size keyboard via MIDI (not a standard MIDI socket though – one that needs an adapter FFS) – that’s just not practical for a gigging musician as it means taking another keyboard to play one that is designed for a 7 year old……. they just seem to have lost the plot.

    I’ll keep saving up for a decent used CS50 instead……

  30. I really like the way the YC organ sounds. Too bad there is not a 61 key full sized key version with patch storage. The people on here who are turned off by patch storage could simply not use it, geeeesh!!!!! I really like the built in mini speaker, this would come in handy when I am trying to learn covers quickly. The bottom line, I will not by any of these unfortunately because of 37 mini keys and zero patch storage. It’s ashame

  31. Played by “Vangelis, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson” – the target market for these synths doesn’t even have a clue who those people are/were.

  32. I think it was a mistake to invoke the CS 80 in the promos, but what it really is is a massively updated and upgraded CS-01. I still have my old CS-01 and I love it (and for all those purist…so did Chick Corea) but this one is super exciting to me.
    Literally everything I would have wanted improved on the CS-01 was done here!

    The design of the oscilators section to me is brilliant! The texture slider does different things depending on the wave form, which I think is a great way of keeping the panel streamlined, yet intuitive and inspiring creativity from the performer.
    I personaly am fine with 1 ADSR but I am curious if the slider for VCF/VCA is really that, or just an envelope amount on the filter.

    Mini keys….the CS -01 mini keys are very playable and if these are the same it will be fine. I do think a better choice would be the keys they used on the old KX-5 keytar. These keys were standard width, but not as long. By either increasing the over all length by an inch or two, or making the side panels a touch smaller, they could have then managed 3 octaves of standard width keys. I think with standard width keys there would be a lot less whining about the price. Still even the mini keys are not a deal breaker for me mostly because of my own positive experience with Yamaha’s mini keys. (other brands are not always as good I’m afraid.)

    Midi dongle…..yeah that is an odd one. I definitely would have preferred a pair of regular 5 pin midi dins. When I get my CS I will want to look into getting a couple spare dongles incase of loss or failure. Especialy since once this model is out of production finding replacement dongle could be a nightmare.

    ios memory…… I’m actually not terribly concerned about memory. Maybe because I’m an old man who grew up on and still uses analog mono synths with no memory. My only concern with the ios memory idea is that apple updates things so bloody often, that I hope yamaha keeps the app functional every time apple decides to update operating systems. Obviously on board memory would have been better, but on the other hand, the Korg ms 20 mini has no memory option at all, has mini keys, and is more expensive than this is, and no one really bats an eye. This might be less versatile compared to the semi-modular MS, but this is polyphonic (I will mostly use it as a mono synth though) and even without memory a much faster/stage friendly instrument.

    I’d be thrilled if it was a hundred bucks cheaper, but even at the price it is, I WILL be buying one. I understand the criticisms some have, but for me personaly, it is almost like Yamaha read my mind for what I am looking for in a synth.

  33. Go into a shop and try one. You will instantly fall in love. Most inspiring synth I’ve ever bought. It just oozes usable sounds. Soundmondo works great for saving presets if you really need to. I just hit record, have fun and chop out the best bits.

  34. Well………unfortunately it sounds great…..best VA I’ve heard …..ever? (Nord and Virus suck, sorry, and my JP8000 has been collecting dust for years).

    But, I’m sorry Yamaha, $499 is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE,

    When I find one for $250, I’m buying one

    Until then, they will rot in the shops with all the other first shipment refaces you haven’t sold

    Cut you losses, blow these out at the price they should have been sold at all long and most of us will pick one up (CS definitely, DX maybe)

    We know they aren’t selling, you know they aren’t selling, the real shame is, especially in the case of the CS……it sounds pretty damn good.

  35. There totally is a pitch bend stick. You don’t need a mod wheel because you have sliders for all the parameters you would patch into the mod wheel, anyways. It would be redundant. People talking smack about this synth must just not be very good at synthesis or something? 8 voices, sounds beautiful. Sure, the Minilogue has more knobs, but only 4 voices and I really don’t feel like it hits the same quality of harmonic content. Lush, warm pads for days. Roland Boutique modules have about the same street price with only 4 voices and I don’t think they really have the same breadth of sound you find on the CS. Don’t get me started on the Gaia, either. That costs like 200 bucks more and just sounds terrible.

    Forget all the poly capability, the CS does fatass mono bass lines, too. That distortion is mean and makes those brown notes hit hard. If the keyboard bothers you, control it with your workstation keyboard or whatever that has a midi-out. I’m dying for them to use this style of interface and this VA system on the scale of something like the King Korg or Prophet 12, tbqh, but I’ll be keeping the CS for a long time. It’s super dope, portable, and versatile. The OP-1 looks like a cheap lil toy, too (and costs a lot and has silly little keys), but it’s a very capable instrument in the right hands. You can buy a restock CS for $320-$350 and I think that’s a steal.

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