Is Behringer Teasing A CS-80, Or ‘BS-80’?

Behringer head Uli Behringer has shared a teaser of something new at the company, a vintage Yamaha CS-80.

Behringer shared a series of images of the CS-80, the latest addition to the company’s synth collection:

The posts raised immediate speculation about whether or not Behringer had plans for cloning the CS-80, along the lines of their ARP Odyssey and Roland VP-330 clones; or if they were dropping, as one commenter described it, a ‘BS-80 – a teaser with no substance behind it.

Behringer isn’t stating any plans at this point.

The company has previously shared teaser images for synths that they went on to clone; for synths and drum machines that they’ve cloned and not yet released; and for gear that they’ve never announced plans for.

Everybody Gets A CS-80!

Behringer shared the CS-80 images shortly after Yamaha announced that it was exploring interest in a new CS-80.

Yamaha also is not committing to anything at this point. Instead, the company says that it’s trying to get feedback and understand whether synthesists would be more interested in ‘a vintage reissue or a modern evolution’.

Feedback on the two company’s posts suggests that people are not interested in a ‘purist’ CS-80 clone, because of the back-breaking weight and tuning instability of the original. Instead, most want a synth design that nails the CS-80 sound and retains the original’s immediate interface and expressive playability, but also adds basic effects, modern MIDI and patch management, and is more compact and lightweight.

CS-80 or ‘BS-80’?

It may be several years before we know if anything will come of Yamaha and Behringer’s interest in making a new CS-80 synthesizer. In the meantime, share your thoughts in the comments!

33 thoughts on “Is Behringer Teasing A CS-80, Or ‘BS-80’?

  1. It is a difficult situation.
    I don’t think Yamaha should try to re-issue it, because it wont be the same, and people will be disappointed.
    Behringer could attempt, and people would not be as upset with it not being completely true to the original. The problem is that the price of the PS-80 by Berhinger (PolySynth, or would it be VS, for VangelisSynth). it would not be a cheap product. And if it isn’t cheap, then people would expect it to be really really close to the original, even if it would be just a tenth of the price of what a used one goes for today. Or they would expect it to be something more powerful.

    My suggestion for Behringer would be to do the MS-80, a mono synth, similar to the Model D, in that it can be euroracked, and offer some CV connectivity. Then demo it, in a poly-chained set-up, and see the interest in making a poly of it. I can’t keep up with all old synths, so I’m not sure if Yamaha ever did a CS-synth, that was just a single voice of the CS-80, with dual layers and ring mod, and so on. if they did, then of course that is the one Behringer should name this project after, rather than MS-80.

    But I would also like to see Berhinger have a new attempt of re-interpret old classic, like they did with the Juno-106 in the Deepmind, but I do think they got a few things wrong that time, that if they fixed the next time, would give them more credit for the project. On the other hand, if they did a poly dual layer synth, with dual resonant filter, and an architecture similar to the CS-80, it would still be quite far off from being able to re-create the sounds of the original, so in terms of sound it would be even further off than the DeepMind from the 106, also there were some parts of the layout of the CS-80 that would not make too much sense today, so I guess it would be quite far off in that regard as well, but at least they would have an interesting base, and with a better interface than the DeepMind, they could have something really really cool coming out of that… Though it would probably be a synth somewhere between the 1000 euro and 2000 euro line… But an exact cs-80 clone, minus the wires and tunings instabilities, and fiddly memory-system, but the sound just right, I expect would be even more than that.

      1. I know they had a CS-series of synth, some monos. But I have no idea of any of them actually is a single voice/dual layer sound with the exact same architecture as the CS-80. All I know is they all aren’t, but one might.

  2. Meh…if Blade Runner wasn’t made this synth wouldn’t get that much attention…it’s still a lovely synth but i would chose a jupiter 8 for example.

    1. Vangelis, Chicago, Jethro Tull, Kraftwerk, Ultravox, Bon Jovi, Simple Minds, Paul McCartney, Michael McDonald, Brian Eno, Toto, Eddie Jobson, Doug Johnson (Loverboy), The Crystal Method, Jean Michel Jarre, Geoffrey Downes (Yes, Asia), Rick Wakeman, Stevie Wonder, Phish, Daft Punk, BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and Tony Banks of Genesis.

      Whatever you say, man.

      1. I think you forgot about significance. That is a list of artists that supposedly at some point used the CS-80, but have they created sounds on it that people desperately want to duplicate, but can’t on anything but the CS-80? Not all sounds from the CS-80 are that unique in character.

    1. Since a synth isn’t built and designed by a single person, it makes sense to have several projects running at the same time, as there would be empty slots in the schedule, where the IC designers would have nothing to do on the project, while it is on someone else table. then perhaps the product develops in a way that the IC designers need to be involved again, meaning that they can’t fully move on to the next project, but at least the next project will not be on complete halt.

  3. I’d rather buy a Yamaha version of this product, as it would probably be a better design & build.

    I think the re-issue trend kind of misses a key point. We humans now have the capacity to make powerful synths less expensively, and with more powerful features & capabilities. In other words, bring the innovation. FWIW, I fully approved of the DeepMind approach. Take a great synth and give it modern editing and DSP capabilities.

    Yamaha could build a true analog or a best-in-class virtual analog, with a powerful mod matrix, a very expressive velocity and polyAT keyboard, short ribbons and a long ribbon, BC in (and while they’re at it, reissue the BC-3a), and an SD slot and the ability to load and play full key/velocity range-maps of samples, it could also include some other oscillators like acoustic modeling, FM, etc. etc. — in short, a monster synth & workstation with lots of knobs and expression sources.

    I guess Behringer could just make a clone of the CS-80, and sell it for some affordable price. and that would excite the CS-80 fans out there, I suppose.

  4. wonder if Yamaha asked about them re-issuing the CS80, cuz they new Behringer was lurking in the shadows and I bet Behringer released this post after Yamaha asked fans about a reissue of the CS80.

    But, I’m also for innovation and bored of the remakes/clones. I’m not angry at behringer for their clones, but I rather like what novation did with the Peak. New synth, new tech, new modulation ideas and then added in the ability to create imperfections like vintage gear, like drift and so on. I like that approach.

    However, I also didn’t invest my time and money into a company making instruments, so whatever they wanna make and whatever people are screaming for and buying, is no business of mine. Even tho I just typed a paragraph plus about it 😉

    1. To remake an expensive, heavy, unstable and mithical synth in an affordable, small, portable and stable packaging is IMHO Innovation too.

      1. That’s a great point. The innovation is getting making it smaller, reliable, affordable, etc. That’s totally fair.

    2. Looking in synth forums, it seems that for many remakes if the classics are necessary to move on.
      The only issue is that some of them will still claim the modern remake doesnt sound like the original, and still not be able to move on (many of them have only heard the originals on records, though, where they go through a signal chain, so of course it won’t sound the same).

      Though the Peak still follows a quite classic recipe, and so does the Waldorf Kyra… It mostly just the technology under the hood that has changed. I have no issue with that. And I do think there are many of the classics that had limitations that I would like to see removed to further expand their capabilities. On the other hand, really really would have liked to see a second filter preferably a SEM styled with mode as a modulation destination on the Peak. The Twin Peaks, so to speak. And an activate panel button on the front. That they implemented the new system where one can set it up so that the blank patches can be dependent on the panel parameters is nice, but it feels like a workaround for me. In the best of worlds I would also have liked to see all modern synths with digital patch storing, making use of LEDs to show the parameter settings of the stored patch, next to the Pots/Encoders and Faders.

  5. I don’t think we need an exact copy of the CS80. What i would love is to have the CS80 sound and the CS80 playability in a modern package, smaller, lighter, stable and at a reasonable price. Either Yamaha or Behringer can make it. If they take good care of the way the key velocity, aftertouch, ribbon and sliders feel and affect the sound, then i will be happy. Playability is important. Even if it is not real analog. A high resolution VA engine that avoids aliasing would fool most people if the response to real time control is satisfying. I think Behringer is halfway there already with the Deepmind 12. If they add some CS80ish features to it, like a ribbon and colored sliders, it can pretend to be a CS60 quite nicely.

  6. I’d just say No to a BS-80. It’ll be only 4 octaves long, the pressure sensing will be mono w/only 2 response levels and the first batch will have DOA MIDI.:P Besides, a CS-80 is kinda like a pipe organ; you sit in the MIDDLE and walk through ITS world. Anything less makes all of that power a bit of a waste. I say all of this gently, TBH. If you’ve ever played a real CS-80, you know what a major experience it is. I’d rather see no clone/reissue than one that didn’t embrace the basic abilities and joy of the original. I rate playing one right up there with my first good lay or meeting DEVO briefly.:D

  7. I would only buy a CS80 behringer, as long as it was ‘appropriately priced’. Somehow, I don’t think Yamaha would competitively price this model.

  8. Really tired of all this Behringer shit. They announce and teaser, I do not remember what they are producing and what they are planning to do in the future, what they are delaying etc etc. The are like angry dog who sees flesh. “Wanna Moug” “Wanna Joupeter %?” “Wanna SC-80?” “Wanna Profett?” “Wanna ARB Odisei?” “Wanna MS-100500100” “Wanna Sikuenshel Pro-On”- “Promise you will pay, our chinese factory will clone”. IMHO their image sufferes a lot. But? What image? Budget-oriented gear for people who do not care? Shame.
    In the end of the ends, me personally, I remember ONLY Behringer Neutron and Behringer DeepMind12 because these are more or less authentic products.

  9. I’d rather have a product like this that was built up to a quality rather than down to a price. Whichever company can do that best, is what I would want to support.

  10. i played with a Deckards Dream and it’s pure magic, i don’t think uli can top what Black Corp has done plus there’s talk of Yamaha actually making it again. still DD remains on the top of my wish list.

    1. A significant part of the CS80s drama was its size. The organ style controls are lovely to use, even the velvet ribbon is a level above the modern polycarbonate (?) versions.

      This was never meant as a synth for the masses. An new one won’t be either although I’m sure it will be open to a lot more. I don’t think we need all the bolts on of a modular, the CS80 was an instrument like a piano and shouldn’t be watered down. Much as I don’t sit around “rating” players, the Yamaha was a players synthesiser and should remain so if it is reincarnated.

  11. What makes the CS80 such an iconic instrument are the immediate response controls i.e. the Poly-AT, the ribbon and the controls above the ribbon. And I say instrument because this thing just wants to be played on so yes, it needs at least that rugged keybed with polyphonic aftertouch. No cutting corners on that.
    I owned a CS80 for 12 years and it was the most enjoyable keybed I’ve ever touched. A Prophet T8 being a close second.

    If they get all the hands-on controls right then I dare say that the actual synth engine really doesn’t matter that much. Maybe they can base the VCO’s on CEM3340 as Deckard’s Dream does.

    Or clone Deckard’s Dream and design the controls around that? Just thinking out loud here :p

  12. Would Behringer also include polyphonic aftertouch? That was a significant part of why some of the CS80’s users felt like it was a real and complete musical instrument. Those who angrily defend Yamaha for excluding aftertouch from the MODX, will of course be unable to comprehend this.

  13. Love seeing everyone complain about Behringer as if it’s a company that doesn’t know how to build synths.
    Over the last few years we had some amazing synths on the market by Behringer.
    Guess some people will stay in full denial no matter what. I myself will do a happy dance when a CS80 by Behringer comes out and laugh at all the haters.

    1. I have a comment I’ve been working on, that relates, so I might might as well publish it here first, as it relates to Berhinger, and their reception, but not only.

      There is a phenomenon I’ve seen many times in synth forums, which could perhaps be called “Stradivarius envy”.

      People playing synths, that wishes there was a real art to building synths, that the making of the instrument matter so much that hand built would mean that it had something extra. That there was a pinnacle of synth building or a holy grail, something that will stand the test of time. Something that would hold its value. Something that is the sound of subtractive synthesis, that everyone else only tries to mimic. And in many cases they try to put that label on Moog products, because the original Moog company came out with the Minimoog that pretty much formed the idea for self-contained subtractive synthesis. The problem is that a Minimoog on the inside is just electronics, there is nothing special there, nothing acoustical, nothing that would be affected by how the product was produced. And modern Moog synths uses mainly imported electronics from china that are only hand assembled in the factory so they not hand built (at best, that is, some seems to be mostly pre-assembled even before arriving at the Moog-factory).
      That is one aspect of the “Stradivarius envy”.

      Another aspect of “Stradivarius envy” that some people have a hard time accepting synth modules that then has to be connected to a playing interface (often keyboard), as if somehow having it all in a package would make it any more of a “real instrument”, like the sense one would get from an acoustical instrument where one can’t separate the sound generation from the instrument one plays.
      That is of course not true either. Having a separate module works just as well as having it built in to a single package.

      Some goes as far as thinking that there has to be a certain weight, and size to the synth, in order for it to feel like an actual instrument. Whereas in terms of electronics, that is of course not true.

      This of course also means that some people can’t accept software synths as real instruments, no matter how well they sound.
      In some cases hardware synths do have a better interface, but there are cases where it is the software that has the better interface, so it can’t even be said that it is the interface of the hardware that makes it a real instrument.

      It all gets even worse, when considering that vintage synths, had imperfections in their electronics, that resulted in pitch drift, and distortions in wave-shapes. Things that engineers did their best to avoid, but the characteristics that came from those imperfections created a sound that many feel is more pleasing. I will not argue on whether or not it is more pleasing, but what that shows is that the old products that some feel are somehow better, are technically actually worse. And no matter how much skill was put in to the product, they could not perfect it. Today many modern synths have “analog feel”, “analog drift” or similar function, to emulate those imperfections, because synths are technically closer to perfect today, closer to what the engineers always tried to achieve.
      But some are simply convinced by the “Stradivarius envy”, that the old ones are better made.

      Pretty much the same phenomenon exists in the electric guitar world. Where people feel that some brands are just more real instruments than others. Sometimes the electronic is identical and sounds identical, but they are still convinced that the “original” is more of an instrument.
      Even new pick-up designs that are technically better can be bashed upon, for not capturing the vibration of strings as well as older designs that are actually technically worse.
      Yet again, the matter isn’t what type of sound one might prefer, but that technically the older designs simply weren’t the most perfect way to do it, just the best that could be done at that time, but therefor isn’t the pinnacle of pick-up design either.

      I guess it can be argued that there is something similar when it comes to outboard gear, where people want there to be a pre-amp, that is the pinnacle of pre-amp design, but the best regarded ones are ones that introduces distortion (often called saturation). Similar thing with compressors. And people that believe in tape over digital recording. It is like there simply has to be something that is clearly the best, something that can be expensive, and hold its value. But I actually think I’ve seen more people accept the distortion (saturation) of emulations when it comes to this area compared to syths, perhaps because many of them has that “Stradivarius envy” in other areas and because of that has no desire to look for a “Stradivarius”-mixer, tape machine or compressor. Or perhaps it is a more progressive field? Or that because mixers and compressors and so on aren’t played somehow makes it easier to accept. Or perhaps because the function is clear, the task given to the hardware is clear and therefor it is easy to measure how it holds up, and see that it is the imperfections that made the sounds of the products, whereas with synths and electrical guitars, no one can clearly say that “this is the target”, since neither product sounds “natural”.
      But still, it is there among a lot of people in the business.

      And to end it off in a very relevant matter to Behringer. The UB-xa project changed from a module to a keyboard version (perhaps Keyboard only, I left that thread seeing how those with “Stradivarius envy” seemed to get their way).
      I’m afraid they would with a CS-80 clone as well. Be it from Behringer or Yamaha. No additions to the sound architecture to extend its potential. No module version, despite the bill of material and shipping costs would allow for a cheaper end product… and that keyboard on the CS-80 is very heavy, and probably quite expensive to clone, and will absolutely not fit everyones playing style. I would love to see a keyboard like that released but as a midi controller, but separating the two would never work for those suffering from “Stradivarius envy”. Most would at the end of the day still feel that Behringer doesn’t live up to that tradition, so it would not be the same instrument anyhow if they were to make it.

  14. CS-80 is THE synth. I’m so into it! Behringer make it happen! To the folks commenting this or that…. it’s going to be really fun to play, if you like, to P L A Yyyyy haha. Whatever with the rest, make it happen! Lug it out if that’s what it takes to make epic songs live. Sure, midi, OK some other modern inputs, cv’s etc… But nailing the sonic palettes, the playability (solid poly aftertouch), and analogue functionalities, at a price that’s save-up-able would just be THEE epic polysynth! “Better” imo, means more expansive true analog capabilities, via new invention or whatever, not “modernized” digital bits our brains need to work more to re-create a pure wave from. As far as imperfections, well, if they dial in the synth and they’re like… that’s IT! meaning… a great sound. That’s great. Maybe add in a “drift” knob, that bends the wave in various areas of the wave, to different degrees, as you increase and decrease it. Maybe two of them, one is acts like a reverb “chamber” size that feels like the room is getting larger or smaller along with a tone “drift” knob that changes the electric impulses and tones of each keys pressed in unison or random or semi-random whereas it bends various point of the wave linearly across the board and have another knob to move those affected areas around until it’s fitting imperfection is there. It’s fun th efind “the sound” It’s fun to talk synths, but even BETTER to play them. I love that Behringer is into making a CS-80, they’ve done great jobs with some of the other synths they’ve been putting out.

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