Synth Site: Yamaha: CS-5: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.3 out of 5
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Saso Podobnik a part-time user from Slovenia writes:
I spent almost a year with my Yamaha CS-5 and the longer I had it, the more I played it, the less I liked it. Sure, it's always fun to buy new gear and play with it, especially if it's so straightforward and easy to use like the CS-5, but when it comes to getting useful sounds out of it, the CS-5 isn't so very inspiring anymore.

The CS-5 proved to me that monophonic synths aren't my thing, so I might be rather unfair towards it. Its sound did nothing to convince me otherwise - it is not particularly thin, but quite dull, even when moderately modulated.

I make synthpop music (please write me at to hear the CS-5 in action - it did make some tracks) and there's little "real-time convolution and modulation" as Yamaha would call it a good decade later - we'd probably even use the TB-303 the way it was intended to. We therefore need sounds that are relatively static, but still rich and lively. I belive that even a simple oscillator detune would help the CS-5 sound immensely - if it had another oscillator to detune, that is.

The filter on the CS-5 isn't bad, it's just not my thing. It is very versatile though, sporting a switchable lo-pass, band-pass, and hi-pass setting and even a audio input...all this marred by the filter envelope which the CS-5 shares with the VCA.

If you're getting the impression that the CS-5 is a turkey of a synth, it's not. I do, however, recommend that you spend some time with it before buying it if you can. If you're looking for just any monophonic synth, the late 1970's Rolands may be a better choice - if you can afford the purchase and maintenance price, that is. There is one thing about my CS-5 that I really liked: immaculate dependability and excellent build quality, and good "vintage value for money". Please keep in mind that the fact that the CS-5 didn't cut it for me doesn't at all mean that it might not cut it for you.

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Jul-03-2002 at 04:53
BLUE CHUNX a professional user from USA writes:
I love this little synth .it's so sexy.Its sounds great to what the else can you get for $250 that sounds so original.The filter is sweet.I would get a nice pre-amp and or compressor for it though cause the volume is a little low in all the CS-series synths. Five Stars!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Jun-07-2002 at 07:17
leon florentine a professional user from england writes:
very useful tool.espeacialy if you like experimenting.make your own pads for triggers out of 2 old car speakers.they dont make them like this anymore

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Saturday-Feb-09-2002 at 20:35
suedehead a hobbyist user from US of A writes:
I Just bought mine at my local swapt-meet for 15 dollars(they wanted 20). I took it home and it works great. I have always been a fan of analog sounds and the cs5 delivers perfectly. I am looking for a manual because this is my first real keyboard. I plug my guitar to it to get really cool effects. GO BUY IT!!!!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Aug-06-2001 at 05:02
Drekhed a part-time user from The Nether of Lands writes:
Have it, love it... It's a cheap way to get some nice analogue tones in your setup. Love the bass sounds on it. Add distortion and you got some of the fattest souds available. This is probably one of the last things i wanna part with in the studio.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Thursday-Jul-05-2001 at 04:48
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