Yamaha Considering Making A Modern CS-80 Synthesizer

Yamaha is looking for input on the possibility of it creating a modern CS-80.

The Yamaha CS-80 is considered by many to be one of the greatest synthesizers ever created. It was the pinnacle of the company’s CS line, offering rich analog sound, immediate hands-on control, and deep expressive capabilities.

Now Yamaha is looking for feedback on revisiting the classic analog monster.

In a post on the company’s Ideascale forum, Yamaha R&D Planning Manager Ben Israel is looking for input on CS-80 design direction:

Hello from Yamaha,

Thanks for your Ideas and conversations. Apologies we haven’t joined in. We would like to understand your analog synthesizer requests a bit more clearly. Please note we move in a very deliberate manner; this is just an initial focusing of the Ideas offered so far and not a commitment to build a product.

Here is our first question:

If we made a CS-80, do you want a vintage reissue or a modern evolution?

Thanks again for your participation. We look forward to the conversation.

There are now examples of modern synths all along the spectrum: from vintage re-releases like the Moog modular system reissues; evolutions like Roland System 500 Eurorack modules; clones, like the Behringer Model D or Pro-One; and modern synths inspired by classic, like the Kog volca FM.

What direction do you think makes the most sense for Yamaha and the CS-80? Share your thoughts in the comments!

101 thoughts on “Yamaha Considering Making A Modern CS-80 Synthesizer

  1. as long as it has the same controls, poly AT, the ribbon, the ring mod, can be carried by one normal human being without assistance and stays more or less in tune for a reasonable amount of time, sounds good and costs less than $3K everything else is negotiable. For instance, it could be orange. I’m ok with wholly or partially digital if they get the sound right.

  2. I see no reason why they couldn’t design an instrument that is both faithful to the original and goes beyond into modern capabilities. Having owned a CS80 back in the day (1979-1993), I can assure you the Reface sounds nothing like the big beast.

  3. Dear Yamaha, check Deckard’s Dream from Black Corporation. That is the start line, you need to come up with something better. More modulation possibilities, for instance. And forget any reissue, those electronic parts are not available and replacing with new ones simply ruins the magic. As Vangelis said once, the CS80 sounds good because of the expressive sound due to polyphonic aftertouch and ribbon controller. Cheers.

    1. Nothing personal with Tamas, I can’t honestly understand how people can compare Deckard’s Dream with a CS80.

      They are sonically different.

      Deckard’s Dream is both a good synth and a mediocre replica of a CS80.

  4. They won’t be able to re-issue it to be identical to the original… And with all the original’s tuning issues, that is perhaps great in a sense, but on the other hand it will mean it won’t be an exact re-creation, so there is no point.

    If I could dream, I would like to see them do a 4 layer analog synth, with dual resonant multimode filters on each layer, polyphonic expression, but also the ability to offset the response of the layers like on the CS-80, but take that even further.
    But the real stand-out feature I would like to see, is the ability to do modern analog FM, so it could also act as an analog 4op FM synth, or if they do 2 ocs per layer, some sort of 8op analog FM synth.
    And it should have a powerful digital effects system, like the Moog One.
    They should probably offer it as a module option (if not only), so users are free to use their favorite MPE playing interface, I expect a Yamaha MPE wooden keyboard, what the “CS” should have, would add a lot of cost and weight… They should do one, but perhaps not attached to the synth. (they would have to use some sort of touch sensors in the key’s surface to take it from poly aftertouch to MPE, but I think there is some demand on the market for something that feels close to a piano key, but that offers MPE capability, since neither Seaboards or K-board pro 4 offers that, and those touch-key overlays don’t either).
    All in all, It would cost at least as the Moog One, but that is OK, products like that are not for the average musician, but they are still nice to have in the world.

    But I do hope some other maker, makes a product inspired by the CS-80, at an acceptable cost level, but calling it a CS-clone/re-make/re-issue will be pointless, because the only way to re-issue it, is to do so with all off its inherent issues, and no one really wants that from a modern day product.

    1. I’d agree that it wouldn’t make sense to do a ‘purist’ reissue of the CS-80 – it would just be too big, unreliable and expensive for today’s standards.

      I disagree though, that there’s no point in doing an update.

      The Behringer D’s acceptance demonstrates that you can do a modern SMT version of a classic analog and nail the sound very closely, and the Deckard’s Dream demonstrates that it’s possible to do a CS-80 inspired synth that nails the sound very closely.

      Pair the Deckard’s Dream’s electronics with a modern take on the Lexicon reverb and you’ve got a good start.

      The challenge isn’t the synth engine, though, it’s creating a modern keyboard interface with playability on a par with a CS-80’s. That’s something nobody is really doing well. It would be a great opportunity for Yamaha to innovate.

      1. The problem is cost.
        If they do a SMT version of the CS-80 with no improvements, it would be judged against the original, and at the price it would probably land, yamaha would be judged harshly. The Deckards Dream project got it easier, because it is a small maker, and people applaud them for trying. With Yamaha behind the project, people would expect them to deliver. I think the only way for a re-issue from Yamaha to be fully accepted is if they made an exact copy of the original, at least in terms of the internals, but perhaps without the suitcase design. But they can’t use lead for the solderings, and some would swear that makes a difference… and there probably more major things they would have to change, that might actually have an impact on the sound.

        If behringer could to a CS-80 re-issue for 999 Euros (inc VAT)/999 dollars, it would probably be accepted by a lot of people as good enough, even though it would be SMTs. The problem is that I doubt even Behringer could make it at that pricepoint, and the higher the price the more the potential customers will demand in terms of true to the original.

        Yes, Yamaha should do a cool wooden keyboard, with poly aftertouch, and touch embedded in the keys.
        Or I would rather see Kawai did that actually….

        But I do think the synth architecture is the difficult part, if anyone wants to call it CS-80 re-issue/clone…
        The expensive wooden poly aftertouch keyboard, there would be a demand for in the premium segment, I’m sure. The Not-Quite-CS80-CS80reissue, I’m not sure, not with a Yamaha brand. And with a Berhinger brand there would be a massive flood of criticism, if they cloned it, and they didn’t even get it right.

  5. I don’t want / need a vintage re-issue if that comes with the same weight, tuning issues and price tag. As long as they retain the playability of the original keybed, including polyphonic aftertouch, the wonderful user interface and get the sound right … I don’t mind a hybrid. With generous memory and multitimbrality, Midi Master capabilities and MPE support. I would also second some sort of innovation on the surface of the keys themselves (perhaps an embedded sensor that would track the X/Y travel of the finger on the key surface?) please start listening to your customers, Yamaha

  6. If this come true, I’m afraid a CS-80 reissue made by Yamaha will be far above my price range, > 5k $, my guess. So I keep with the ME-80 for the time being, unless Uli may getting triggered too…

  7. Reissue it with similar look and controls, but in a slimmer, more attractive package with a digital display and patch memory, maybe some onboard effects like reverb and chorus as well. That would be awesome. I’d pay $5K for that.

    1. Yeah, this is a synth that begs to be paired with reverbs, delays, and chorus. So I second this. I’d add MPE, and multitimbral control per voice would be cool upgrades.

    2. Whoa what? Is that a realistic estimate on price? I am getting a bit hopeful for one, but also hopeful that I could afford it! If so, I will take my chances on a DIY Deckard’s Dream!

  8. The most important features of the CS-80 are its poly pressure and two distinct “lines”. Do this, make it properly programmable and give it modern auto-tuning, and the synth will be a win. Even if it was a VA (done properly with no audible stepping on controls and mod sources) it could do very well.

  9. Owning over 60+ synths, 2/3 vintage, 1/3 modern I can tell you that personally id rather see an affordable vintage re-issue. Modern synths are a dime a dozen, computers too, all of which can easily make all the modern sounds of today. The problem is that modern synths, virtual synths, computers, etc just can’t quite get vintage sounds right, or they lose the “edge” that vintage sounds have. I own a Yamaha DX-1 and a DX-5 as well as a TX-7 and even those have a sound unique to their hardware. Its like back in the mid 1980’s when all the Synth manufacturers were trying to replicate the sounds of acoustic pianos as well as the Fender Rhodes, some were pretty good, like my TX1P was, but they were still nothing like an actual Piano or Rhodes. If I wanted to make CS-80 sounds with modern gear, id simply sample what I needed. If a vintage re-issue of the CS-80 were made / released, id certainly buy one if its affordable. One last thought…. PLEASE DON’T MAKE IT TINY…. Tiny synths feel like toys IMHO. Im a classically trained professional pianist and owner of Mystic Frequencies, full size keys are a must to me if its a unit with a keyboard. (Although a larger desktop CS-80 without keys would be great as well.)

  10. I would really love to see this happen personally although a faithful, 100% vintage recreation is fraught with issues (size, weight, reliability, pure cost etc) so I don’t see that happening or possibly as a very limited number of units. The poly-aftertouch and real time controls are a must though.

    What I would suggest is Yamaha works with Dave Smith – Yamaha create the keyboard and use it’s expertise for really good, weighted keybeds (not that the Sequential T8 one was a slouch either!) and work along the lines of an OB-6 style collaboration. This is more likely to be both successful and affordable (I’m sure it will still be expensive). 100% analogue sound, patch storage, some effects in addition to the ring modulator (reverb, chorus, delay etc). 61 note, full size keybed minimum. Proper MIDI as well.

    The synth market is not that big, even less so for the big ticket items. Take the Moog One – fabulous concept, it looks amazing but at £6000 in the UK for the cheaper model, it’s just out of reach for so many. It would be interesting to know how many have actually been sold so far – I would guess less than 100-200 at most. I’m not knocking Moog, I’d have one in a heartbeat IF I could afford one at the moment. Same with the Waldorf Quantum.

    1. Yeah, I kind of like this idea. Though of course, with DJ Pioneer and Oberheim, those are small companies, Yamaha is pretty big. Still, DSI seems to have figured out how to engineer lots of complicated modulation better then the competition, so I think theres still reason to look into a collab. DSI’s Prophet X has great samples, but not anything like the Montages FM engine. Though thats not really int he CS-80 conversation directly, if Yamaha is asking how to go about getting back into the world of analog, A montage/dsi collab hybrid thing might be a better bet in the short term.

    2. I’d guess MOOG already have sold around 1000 Moog Ones. But they probably haven’t delivered them all yet. Its a dreammachine for many so the price is not so prohibitive as one would think. And if on divides up the payment its within reach for very many not so rich musicians.

    1. Ha! That was my thought also. Yamaha is not doing a remake of this. This is probably just a legal maneuver to give Uli pause.

  11. Two things would have to be different than the original: the weight should be MUCH lighter and the oscillators should be more pitch stable

  12. It’s pretty self evident that there are two driving reasons behind the CS80s legend status.
    First is of course the sound. GTFO with modeling, ACB and all that jazz. Analog front to back, SMT and modern
    production processes should render the previously expensive through hole hand wired circuits much cheaper, smaller and lighter. I have owned a number of vintage Yamaha pieces and they are remarkable for the amount of tidy hand wiring! Nice to see but impossible to replicate, that will all have to be pcb.
    The second is of course the after touch and expression capabilities. It simply can’t have a cheap velocity only keybed. If that is a problem just make a module. Most of the people fascinated with CS80 already have aftertouch capable master keyboards.

  13. Suddenly Yamaha is trying to do what Behringer is doing, giving people what they ask for. Interesting concept. Soon Roland will suddenly be asking synth heads for input in regards to a Jupiter 8 re-issue… yes Roland, the forward looking company who claims they only look forward not backwards. The problem is, Behringer has now won over a hefty portion of the synth heads… Yamaha and Roland messed around with their finger up their butt while Behringer took action.

  14. A vintage reissue with modern features like patch memory, midi and auto-tune routines on modern/efficient/compact SMT circuitry. Keep it all analog, INCLUDING the effects section! No “hybrid/virtual-analog/ACB” bs, there already are several plugins of the CS80 so more digital mimics would be pointless.

    But honestly I’m not going to sit around waiting for Yamaha to “maybe” make something CS80 related, I’m still saving up for the Deckard’s Dream and still very much intend to buy it.

  15. Decent plugins already exist so there is no reason to do a digital/hybrid version (though FX would probably be better done digitally). It should be analog or don’t bother. Deckard’s Dream is pretty good, that’s your real competition. On the plus side, it no longer needs to weigh 200lbs and suck up power like there’s no tomorrow.

  16. I slipped a disc carrying the original up 3 flights of stairs by myself. So, yeah, lighter would be good. It was the signature sound of the band I was in in 1978 – The Sinceros. Without the CS80 we would have sounded totally different. As long as all the controllers replicate the original, and the sound is comparable, I would love one.

    1. I see your records in the dollar bin ALL THE TIME.

      are there any synth intros or interludes on those records worth sampling?

  17. I think if it’s possible to make a “vintage reissue & a modern evolution” in one, it’d be a good idea, if it’s all going to fit in to one synth. If not, perhaps 3 separate versions for various price could be another idea? Food for thought.

  18. Consider the price of the Yamaha Reface CS and project what a CS-80 class synth would cost. Instruments in that price range have such a tiny market, perhaps Yamaha should pull out all the stops and just resolve to sell only a few hundred units. Focus on awesomeness and to hell with the price. Give the engineers an opportunity to excel.

    1. it’s called a halo product. Something that may not be practical as a core product based on R&D and production costs. But which lends prestige to the brand. Like some of the hopped up cars certain automakers sell. Or what the Mac Pro used to be.

    2. There’s a market for high end synths – I’m sure that Yamaha could sell a new CS-80 to everybody that bought one of the Moog modular reissues.

      But I think the sweet spot for Yamaha would be to create a CS-80 that they could sell in the ‘flagship’ keyboard range – somewhere between the price of the Yamaha Montage and the Moog One.

      This seems like it could be possible, because the old analog circuits of the original should not be the big cost, it should be the zillions of switches and controls, the ribbon and the polyphonic aftertouch keyboard.

      One other thing that I don’t think people consider is that old polyphonic synths had to be ‘voiced’ and tuned manually so that all the voices would sound the same and in tune. Not sure how much manual setup there is on a CS-80, but it seems like they’d have to try and eliminate that as much as possible to make it affordable. You don’t have to do this with modern polysynth designs.

  19. Omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg…

  20. I would definitely want an exact vintage reissue from an analog signal path and control perspective. Maybe add more comprehensive midi abilities, usb, etc. Maybe handle patch presets in a modern way. If it can be done for about 4 to 5k instead of 8k+, that would be grand.

  21. how about considering making a modern montage INCLUDING AN ONBOARD SEQUENCER WORTHY OF THE NAME? as a former motif user i´m still perplexed how yamaha did get the crazy idea to implement a laughable midi recorder instead of a decent midi sequencer into the montage and the modx. epic fail imo.

  22. Thanks for the inquiry, Yamaha! If you should make the CS-80, Deckard’s Dream and the Minimoog reissue are good benchmarks. I’ve played both old and new Minis and they nailed it! Deckard’s sounds amazing as well.

    If you can accomplish CS-80 in SMT, please make enough spare boards, and plan to support the product for at least 25 years. They will last 50, so why not commit forever?

    Price wise, if you can get it down enough to make a moderate sized run, I’m confident you can sell out, perhaps in pre-orders!

    Please make the controls full size, but smaller case and lighter weight is fine.

    MIDI, MPE, patch storage, and extra modulation options, and collaboration with other companies are great ideas. Whatever gets the job done.

    Thanks for asking, I’d love to own a new one! My other wishes are Putney and Synthex.

    -BR

    1. Keep it analog, add extra routings and features. Do not add patch memory unless you wait for the new midi standard. Only include midi if the new standard is out. Must have poly aftertouch. Add an arpegiator with programmable patterns, as well as a sequencer. Make sure it has stereo left and right audio outs.

  23. I wouldn’t mind it being mostly the same instrument as long as it doesn’t weigh as much as the original. MIDI would be nice too.

  24. I think Yamaha should take a close look at Deckard’s Dream. Their form factor is the right one. There are so many excellent keyboards around that it’s not making any sense to incorporate one. Make it accessible for the masses.

  25. 14-bit midi for every parameter, comprehensive midi implementation that allow for software editors, independant voice detuning, a desktop version for 3000 euros and I’m in (lol I can dream).

  26. I want to play all Vangelis sounds in one synthesizer. Sounds are the important thing.
    A renovated design of the cs80 lighter weight with the advantages of the new machines.

  27. I think a reissue with a few modern improvements is the way to go. It must sound exactly like the original, poly after touch ribbon completely analogue. What the synth community don’t is Yamaha to do what Roland did with the Jupiter 80.

    1. in this day and age people who have never seen or heard an actual CS80 (and, to be honest, many who have) will trash talk it regardless of what it sounds like. A sad social commentary I suppose. I got into synths after hearing Eddie Jobson play Alaska on CS-80 and Minimoog during the Jethro Tull “A” tour. Whatever the thing is that you’ve lusted after since the misspent days of youth will probably never live up to the expectations once you get your hands on it.Still… I want one.

  28. “If we made a CS-80, do you want a vintage reissue or a modern evolution?”

    To use poor grammar, there ain’t no way that a vintage reissue is going to cut it nowadays.

  29. Vintage or modern, but NOT with sound CLOSE to CS-80, but IDENTICAL to CS-80. Also full analog, not any virtual analog. And lighter, and 3000 euros for make it from good components. And NOT shitty Roland System-8 modern look please!!! And don’t put any DIGITAL reverb or this kind of stuff. We all have Big Sky, and don’t need any shitty reverbs on analog synths to pay more money for it,

    1. Deckard’s Dream sounds exactly like a CS-80. Look up Paul Schilling’s demos.

      Yamaha could do something like the DD at a fraction of the cost.

      I disagree about effects. Everybody will want the CS-80 to sound like Vangelis – so give it world class chorus and reverb effects.

  30. I have read very carefully the views, comments, opinions and suggestions of all the attendees in the discussion on the CS-80, and I agree with everyone, but we escape a key factor that turns any synthesizer, analog or digital, into a legend. And this factor, which is irreplaceable, is the individual user of the synthesizer that we consider insurmountable and so important. The human / user agent can not be copied.

    Have we ever wondered why all these synths that we consider insurmountable have passed in history?
    If there was not Vangelis writing the Blade Runner, the CS-80 would probably go unnoticed or even just like one of the many synthesizers of that time. If there was not Vince Clark to use the CZ-101, would anyone know? and there are infinitely similar examples.
    So the instrument, no matter how good it may be, can not be highlighted, it also needs the right user in whose hands it will take off. So, let’s say about rebuilding, upgrading an instrument, it’s just thoughtless words. I will mention the advice of the great teacher and pionner in this field, Jean Michel Jarre: what we have to do is to learn how to use as much as perfect the synths we already have. And I will conclude with an important advice to the manufacturers, the great teacher and pioneer Vangelis in his earlier interview with the magazine “Music Tune”, which said: If manufacturers want their instruments to be of value over time, they should not forget human factor and its direct interaction with the synthesizer.

  31. I disagree completely. I would never buy this as a rack, just like I won’t buy a Deckard’s Dream now. The unity between playing surface and controls is too critical with this type of synth, and trying to emulate that with a rack is a logistical annoyance. It drives me crazy. I would never spend top dollar on a synth that is dysfunctional without other hardware to make it work. Hell no!

  32. I’d love a modern evolution with a better keybed. A must-have feature would be the POLYPHONIC AFTERTOUCH. That would be a deal-breaker for me. P.A.T. PLEEEEEEEEEASE! Please are buying Kurzweil midiboards, Roland A-80s and A-50s just for the P.A.T. control. This would be the first synth in a long time with P.A.T. and I’d be excited about that. I would’ve purchased a Moog One if it had P.A.T.

  33. The first post nails some of the important stuff. The CS80 apart from its synth engine had heaps of playability built iinto it. Stuff mr.Decard is not equipped to reproduce however much he’d want to. In addition to the polyAT, ribbon and nice keyboard it also lended a lot from organs, the electones. Do not forget that it’s a stripped down GX-1 with parts of the old GX built into IC’s. The GX1 was a hybrid synth/electone organ. Why this? Well – pipe organs and their controls are made for live performance. The combination of a good synth engine and organ-like controls is unbeatable.

  34. as a synthesizer enthusiast, who works with many of these old flagships as im working with modern instruments my opinion is it makes only sense if you really seriously focus on a reissue, not a modern model, based on its sound architecture. its about the voluminous fat rich sound the cs50/60/80 offered. to me, the quest is how to recreate this? it wont be possible with smd based parts, not in 100 years. even with normal parts, as we could see in the deckards dream kit it doesnt even sound very similar to its big successor. a new cs80, which is more lightweight, has full midi implementation and a quiet similar or identical sound will be die holy grail for people like me. working as quick as possible is a insifignant attitute. thats not the goal, its about the sound! the people want good sound! its a hard task, but im sure it can be possible somehow. go on yamaha.

  35. Why are we still waiting for a midi controller with carefully weighted keys, adjustable velocity curves, beautiful aftertouch response, ribbons and joysticks and MPE compatibility? If we had it, we could drive many synths in many expressive ways and not simply pigeon hole ourselves to the CS80/Vangelis type of sound (which i love too) … Why not make a CS80 style midi controller with high resolution sensors?

    1. I don’t know what happened to VAX midi, but their new polyphonic aftertouch sensor system, if tuned, should be possible to implement on a weighted action keyboard, I think.
      I’m sure, some pattern of capacitive sensitive points, could be embedded in to wooden keys in a matter that it could still feel pretty natural… Not that touchkeys feel, not for a wooden controller.

      I would love to see that in a controller… but also perhaps built in to an actual acoustic piano, with soundboard speaker, and silence system. Kawai in my mind has the best feeling midi controllers… but if they would be actual hammer keys from a yamaha piano, with the sensors of the VAX midi system, I guess yamaha could challenge Kawai…
      But I would not care who does it… But both Kawai and Yamaha also have soundboard speaker equipped hybrid pianos.

      Add at least one X/Y/Z axis pedal (perhaps with rotate as well), to the system, in my mind would probably be better than putting joysticks or bend wheels on the surface of the controller, as those limit two hand playing, so we can probably achieve more by learning to use our feet more.

  36. This is very easy…REISSUE exactly as-is with modern functionality like MIDI in/out/thru.

    Just like how Moog did with the Model D Reissue.

    Simple as pie.

    Better make a decision quick as I was just about to purchase Deckard’s Dream 🙂

  37. I wish Yamaha good luck, because I always liked their synths. This discussion will probably trigger Behringer to start working on a CS-20 and CS-80 remake and probably also Korg on some analog 4 voice Volca type of CS version. If it were by me, I’d go where the battle is, rather than build some very expensive remake.

  38. Clone that Ring Mod exactly, give us the keyboard performance features with ribbon controller and the analog filter. Im fine if it is a analog/digital hybrid for patch storage with preset digital screen. Add a poly sequencer and arp. Keep the color scheme and look the same. Lighter and make it under 3k. CS-60 version for under 2k would be nice also. If you can’t do it just let Uli take a crack at it.

  39. The more the thing costs, the fewer units will be sold. With poly analogs going for just north of $4,000 already, I can’t imagine there is a way to do a CS-80, all analog, that would cost less. The $5,000 mark is probably pretty close.

    They could probably nail the CS-80 sound and control interface in the digital realm. Analog modeling has gotten really good over the last several years. A VA CS-80 would be just fine with me, but I can already hear the screaming. “We want an ALL analog CS-80 for 1,200 bucks!”

    I would still love to see the Reface line done up with full sized keys. Even 49 keys would be great. So Yamaha, if you’re listening, please see if you can find the missing e-mails… no, scratch that… the full sized keys. I’m sure that you will be mightily rewarded buy our working keyboard players.

    1. I totally agree. AN1x is already a remarkable and strong VA synth, which can easily evolve into a VA CS-80 beast!

  40. Well, they had it: the cs6 was it. it have 64 digital voices with sampleplaying, very good filters…multimode, midifileplayer and so on. but the best is that you can use plugins, like the anx plugin for analog sounds and a dx plugin for dx sounds, so you have rompler, a virtuall analog synthesizer and a dx7 in it. i have such a machine with this two boards and i am more than happy about this. so well, i think a cs60 must be a better cs6. thake the modx and spend them more faders and so on and a real analog section. thats it for me.

  41. Three things as I know the Yamah will do the good job on the rest:

    1. Patch memory
    2. Patch memory
    3. Patch memory

    How hard can it be :-O ?

  42. I would love to see this happen:

    1 Analogue (No virtual analogue ) – as many have said, there are good software emulations out there.
    2 Modern interface but with a strong nod to the original – a synth design does matter and the CS80, whilst it sounds fantastic does look a bit like your grandpa’s old organ
    3 Full size keys
    4 Aftertouch and ribbon control
    5 USB
    6 Other modern stuff not yet invented in 2019

    🙂

  43. Vintage in the meaning that it sounds the same as the original.
    Not almost like the original. Don’t make it more ”versatile” which too often means less character and more options with little real use for making music. The gap in todays market lies in the sound quality. The clones just
    doesnt have that organic rich living feel of the originals, just a copy of it that even if it sounds close just have no magic. Fill a whole track with clone sounds and you really feel the difference. So to put it short: go for sound, not versatility.

  44. Yamaha, IF you go here, the most crucial point for me is this: don’t mount the damned circuitry on heavy wood like you did for your old electronic pianos and some synths! Your playing tends to suffer when you have a hernia. Also, having played the real thing, I harbor some serious doubts about the general keyboard skills of potential buyers in a world full of Volcas, mini-modulars and 3-octave mini-synths. A CS-80 demands a pretty high level of engagement like a piano. People often whine for poly-pressure, but how many will really marry the blend of velocity, pressure and that amazing original pitch ribbon? A lot fewer than those who have Vangelis/Eddie Jobson-stars in their eyes. Far more people hated the Roland Jupiter-80 than loved it. The wrong take on the CS-80 legend will burn the message boards like 24 hours of nude sunbathing with zero UV-block goo on ya.

  45. at the risk of going slightly against the grain here, I’d rather be slightly disappointed by something I can afford to own than completely blown away by something I can’t reasonably afford. If this thing ends up ridiculously expensive then its just another, newer unicorn. Something I may WISH I could own but never realistically will. So, make some compromises if necessary and put this thing out at a reasonable price and I’ll be interested.

    1. The problem here is to get even close to making a CS-80, it would be quite expensive. And then people would not accept it not being what they expect.
      But sure, if someone could make a CS80 inspired synth, with all the feature of the original, minus the poly aftertouch keyboard, probably without a keyboard at all, and sell it for 999 dollar/euros (inc VAT for euros), a lot of people would probably like it a lot, even if it would not sound like the original. The dual layers of the architecture and the dual resonant filters per layer, aren’t that common features.
      But yamaha could never… I’m not sure Beringer even would be able to. And calling such a product CS-80 or similar would be pointless.

  46. Considering Yamaha’s recent aversion to aftertouch which is evident in their design for the MODX, I wonder what they would do in designing a modern CS80. Polyphonic aftertouch was a significant part of the recipe. It was one of the reasons why it felt like a real and complete musical instrument, or so some of its users said. Those people who were foaming at the mouth, angrily defending Yamaha for excluding aftertouch from the MODX, doubtless will not see the need to have it in a re-issue, but everyone else will.

  47. Lighter, much, much cheaper, make sure it works, but make it look the same, have the same functionality, and sound exactly the same as the original – there, that can’t be too hard Yamaha??? Surely???

  48. Really people, do all of you need to keep repeating what everyone else has already said? If someone has already made the same comments as you want to, there is no need to keep repeating the same thing over and over. That just makes it more difficult for Yamaha to scroll through the responses. About 85% of the comments here are simply redundant.

  49. More heavy, more expensive and CS88 can be with 88 keys or even CS128 can with 128 keys. Think it like it is world first _grand_ synthesizer like there is pianos and _grand_ pianos. Price can same that Yamaha grand pianos, but quality have to be also as good. Yamaha grand pianos doesn’t have digital shit, so world first grand synthesizer doesn’t need any digital. If you want controlling with another MIDI devices you have buy multichannel CV/gate system to front of it. It would be also first Classical Synthesizer..that where that CS comes 🙂

  50. More heavy, more expensive and CS88 can be with 88 keys or even CS128 can with 128 keys. Think it like it is world first _grand_ synthesizer like there is pianos and _grand_ pianos. Price can same that Yamaha grand pianos, but quality have to be also as good. Yamaha grand pianos doesn’t have digital shit, so world first grand synthesizer doesn’t need any digital. If you want controlling with another MIDI devices you have buy multichannel CV/gate system to front of it. It would be also first Classical Synthesizer..that where that CS comes 🙂

  51. It needs to have the same SPIRIT as the CS-80. The CS-80 was japan’s first great synthesizer and put Yamaha on the top spot as the most advanced synth maker. The CS-80 is (still) something one aspires to own. The successor must have the same philosophy:

    – POLYPHONIC AFTERTOUCH, no substitute. Would be even better if keyboard is sensitive to side motion too. And good keys please, the CS80 had a very long pivot point action.

    – Tons of controls for real-time fiddling with the sound

    – Needs to look high quality; high quality controls please.

    – Make it digital but with real analog filters. 8 voice minimum, 16 voice ideal, double multitimbrality would be fine if it can be tweaked directly.

    – No LCD screens; nothing that could age or become dated please. No menus!

    – It doesn’t need to sound like the CS80. It needs to SOUND, IN 2019, AS IMPRESSIVE AS A CS80 SOUNDED IN 1976.

    – 76 keys minimum

    – Classic look. Look how Roland styles their new synth? Good, don’t do it like Roland. It needs to look classic 70s yamaha. Timeless.

    – Doesn’t really need onboard effects unless you can make a killer chorus for it.

    – TONS of connectors for expression pedals.

    Yamaha is my favorite synth brand, they did amazing stuff like CS80, Gx1, GS-1, DX-1 (imo as remarkable as the cs-80), SY-99. They are all beasts, monster synths. The reissue must stand up with them.

    Call it CS-90.

  52. For me the CS80 is special for a couple of reasons. If a new version is to succeed it needs to recreate these things to stand a chance of being popular:
    Very simple, pure analogue sounds. The raw synthesis of the CS80 was never anything outrageous.
    Two identical self contained synth channels each with its own filter. That’s still really unusual.
    A dedicated control for every parameter. Many modern synths fall down here.
    Weighted keyboard with polyphonic aftertouch. THAT is the key to the lush CS80 sound we crave.
    Long ribbon controller. Again, a hallmark of the CS80 and really unusual.

    Then to get around the things we didn’t enjoy in the original:
    Half the weight.
    Programmable memories, but importantly a button to go back to the live control panel at any time.
    Allow the two channel LFOs to control vibrato. I never understood why you can’t have different vibrato speeds on the two channels.
    A couple of effects units, preferably EQ, chorus/phaser, delay and reverb, storable with the patch.

    If you ask people what they love about the CS80 I think you’d hear that it’s the bright oscillators, smooth creamy filters and the lushness of the pad sounds. It would be a mistake to risk those sounds in order to create too much flexibility.

  53. One cost effective option would be to utilise a software version and create the hardware to simulate the original. For example, Arturia have the CS-80V which is the absolute rock bottom cheapest way to play a CS-80 without laying out mega bucks for something like the ‘Decards Dream’ by the black corporation. There is of course the Reface CS but it’s a bare bones synth that will allow for a mono synth experience, the magic of the CS-80 to my ears is it’s incredible dual synth sounds. The way you can have those 2 voices working together sounds fantastic. So you could produce a reasonably priced unit with inbuilt software version of the synth and ensure you use 24bit 96KHz or up sound quality samples etc to allow for practically exact replication. Many would drone on about the fact it’s a digital synth emulating an analogue synth but many of those people will not be interested in paying for the cost of an actual analogue copy recreation. Especially when you can actually get the sound to be exactly the same using either method. Here’s hoping that idea may help to bring a usable instrument to the modern age and reduce a whole lot of belly aching.

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