Casio CZ-1 Phase Distortion Synthesizer Vintage Keyboard Demo

In this video series, synthesist Joe Evans takes an in-depth look at the Casio CZ-1, the flagship of its 80’s CZ line of Phase Distortion synthesizers.

Most of the discussion in this series applies to the Casio CZ-101 and other CZ synths. The CZ-1 is distinguished by offering a full size keyboard with velocity sensitivity and aftertouch.

If you’ve used any of the CZ synths, leave a comment and share your thoughts on them!

14 thoughts on “Casio CZ-1 Phase Distortion Synthesizer Vintage Keyboard Demo

  1. Good news (and a synth) is always worth repeating, but didn’t you guys already run this one earlier this year, back in March??

    1. Good eye – thanks for being a long-time reader.

      Evans just completed the series of videos, which ended up covering a lot more info than when we previously highlighted them. So we thought it was worth featuring the completed series.

  2. i had the CZ5000 when i was a kid, which was this CZ1 with the addition of a sequencer bolted on.

    i cried every day i wished my parents had bought me a real synth like a Roland or Korg, not a casio toy.

    Sold this thing when i turned 18, have never regretted it

    1. If only a CZ5000 was that…….the CZ1 was all the extra bits I wanted (ok not ALL) but with no slightly useless sequencer

  3. Had a used CZ-1 once, back in the mid 80’s…used it 2-3 times then sold it to a friend that was GaGa over it….he did some wonderful stuff with it….

  4. The CZ line is FAR from being a toy. Pain in the ass to program, especially with the stepping DCW, but the results are great. Always found it much warmer sounding than the DX series it was often compared to.

  5. Still have my CZ1000 and RAM card (needs new battery, they were soldered in) along with two of Charles Lauria III’s CZ books; CZ-Orchestra and the special FX one, with the “Oh Yeah” and “spaceship landing and taking off” patches – good stuff. Hard to think I played “Dance on a Volcano” on that thing. Arranging chops get good when u only have 4 notes of polyphony…

  6. Loved my CZ1000 (yes C Zed….we said that in Scotland!) and then a few years after I made an almighty mistake…..gave it to my brother 🙁 I now have the Arturia version which kinda takes the pangs away for a while.

  7. My beloved CZ1 was my first synthesizer. Learned a lot about synthesis by programming it. Lost it in an unfortunate basement flooding. I’d consider getting one back if the price was right. The wave n.4 (combination of sine pulse) used on the four oscillator slots and then slightly detuned was great for big brass patches, and those three resonant waves were so great for “spacey” patches kinda reminiscent of the Synthex.

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