Yamaha CS15

Yamaha CS15

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CS15, Analog Synth from Yamaha in the CS series.

8 user reviews
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Yamaha CS15 tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer: Yamaha
  • Model: CS15
  • Series: CS
  • Category: Analog Synths
  • Added in our database on: 04/08/2004

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Yamaha CS15 user reviews

Average Score:4.7( 4.7/5 based on 8 reviews )
 7 reviews88 %
 1 user review13 %
Value For Money :

yoTrakkz's review"some sounds are thin"

Yamaha CS15
This analog synth is arguably the best synth I've ever played in my life. More versatile than most synths of its ilk, it's got some of the richest tones that I've ever heard come out of an electronic instrument. It's an eight-voice polyphonic synthesizer with controllers for all effects, including pitch, modulation, sustain, vibrato, tremolo, and others. It originally didn't come with midi but some have been retrofitted to use MIDI. Since these are not made anymore, they're really expensive, and you're just as likely to find one with MIDI as without. The original synth was able to connect to other OB synths through the digital buss system that they developed. This technology also allows the synth to connect to drum machines and sequencers, though only with particular models which I have not come across.


The setup isn't too difficult, and the manual is clear enough on how to operate it. Since it's an older piece of gear, the technology isn't too complex, and most people should be able to figure it out. The editing and effects can take some time to be able to manipulate with ease, but with practice it becomes a more natural process.


The sounds of the CS-15 are some of the most useful synth sounds I've ever used or seen used on recordings. They are known for replicating actual instrument sounds as much as creating their own warm, powerful, unique textures. They are particularly effective for adding huge low end to recordings, as well as providing other subtle textures.


I can honestly say it's the real deal. It's definitely way out of the price range of most people, but it's definitely up there with any Yamaha synthesizer in my opinion. I can't speak for all of them, but the few that I've heard are pretty comparable to this one. I've tried other synths but none compare in my opinion (except for the OB-4 and some of the other Yamaha's). I can't tell anybody to pay the ridiculous price that they are inevitably going to end up paying, but I will say that if you want one analog synth, save up and get this one. You'll be glad you did.
Audiofanzine FR11/29/2008

Audiofanzine FR's review

Yamaha CS15
(Originally written by Aurochs4/translated from Audiofanzine FR)
Everyone already knows the features. 100% analog technology.

This sturdy synth provides an excellent manufacturing quality!

I only miss a second LFO which would greatly enhance the possibilities.

I would also prefer pitch bend and brilliance wheels instead of sliders, but like I said before this product has a very high manufacturing quality.

Virtually no noise even at maximum volume.


Very easy to use. This synth doesn't need a user's manual and it is really plug'n'play. Very intuitive use: VCO -> VCF -> VCA.

After a quarter hour warm up you can tune the device and it doesn't change anymore.

To edit sounds you must use rotary controls, which you either love or hate, and their feel is somewhat peculiar.


Smooth and accurate sound. It blends perfectly in every mix without taking up too much space. Don't expect a big Moog sound. Its sound is thinner, with a better definition and much more precise. Unlike Moog products leads and basses don't sound too fat and big. That's the reason I like it: I can be played with many other different instruments. The VCFs are not self-oscillating and it's better so because you can actually use the full resonance range. I think that's one of the reasons this synth has the reputation of sounding very precise.


I've owned it for 25 years... 25 years! It was my first synth. Mine was manufactured in 1980 and I had it fully serviced last year. I cleaned it up, changed all condensers (filter and envelope chemical and nonpolarized condensers are very important), I checked it with an oscillator to adjust the linearity, the wave forms, and the tuning. I removed all potentiometers, cleaned them up and lubricated them, etc. You have to be very patient with a CS-15... Removing both panels takes a whole afternoon.

I sort of recovered the instrument and it's once again a delight to play it as if it were the first time. Time seems not to go by when I play this synth! And it gives your songs a whole new dimension.

etiennewilliame's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Yamaha CS15
A pure vintage keyboard, see dtail Previous notice.
It's cots apprcie robust.
CONTRL of the filter with a controller is very practical.
No breath.
Design particulirement well think that allows a full interview.
9 for MIDI but not good in 1979 ...


There's no simpler.
You turn the knobs.
The noise is very practical.
The filter is trs drawing, especially if you use an external signal


For the sound vraimment is fantastic, cs 15 fits all styles.
Sonora is located between the moog and 20 ms.


A pure analog synth that remains in affordable prices.

nikko666's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Yamaha CS15
As others have said, a good two monophonic occilateurs.
It has everything very promptly can dream a monaural quality and more.

These peculiarities are, sync the two CSOs, white noise quality, two separate filters for each CSO, two assignable ADSR anything, low pass filters, high pass and band-pass, resonant but do not self-occilation like Moog.

For a comprehensive mono.


We do not get any easier. The scheme is classic and effective immediately we control the machine if you know one can subtractive synthesis.


The sound of the CS-15 is the top of the series of CS. The CS-30 is a more complicated program and does not match any synth, so it's CS-15 remains the choice for a conventional monophonic.
The filter is specified, the sound and slap it is particularly punchy, it was not the width of a Moog or Oberheim, but each style!

Its originality is to have a very personal sound, at once warm and precise, and also with the possibility of an envelope super fast flapping in the manner of a Prophet 5.

Perfect for sequenced bass and rhythm, it appears the mix thanks to its exceptional dynamic. For sub bass or choose Moog Studio Electronics.


I love this device. It is deeper than the professional Korg Monopoly / Polysix, the Roland SH and even the Oberheim SEM. I have a CS-30 and CS-15, and I guard.
Note that the filters including aging badly and HIPASS bandpass mode. Check when buying.

A synth with a unique opportunity side very low, currently around 500 EUR. This synth deserves to sell 1000 EUR. With the rarity of this type of machine is a worthwhile investment, because I think these machines more and more expensive in the future.

In addition the quality of the CS-15 (and all CS) far beyond the MFB, Technosaurus, Evolvers, Analog and other new modes, with components made of poor quality. To the ear, the difference is fundamental. So considering the price, it's a very good deal.

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